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Triploid mussel genomics program


Generating solutions




Genomic Applications Partnership Program

Genome Centre(s)



Project Leader(s)

Fiscal Year Project Launched


Project Description

Aquaculture is a viable option to enhance the production of sustainable protein sources for human consumption. Its average global emissions are estimated as ~10X lower than from beef production and ~0.5X from poultry. Mussel aquaculture is one of the most important industries in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), generating annual revenues of over $60M and supplying 50 per cent of mussels consumed in North America. Shellfish aquaculture has lower GHGs than salmon and shrimp aquaculture. Triploid shellfish, especially oysters, are widely used in the US, France, U.K. and New Zealand. Currently, no companies are using triploid mussels in Canada. Due to their sterility, triploids (with three sets of chromosomes) grow faster and are more resilient than their diploid (two sets) counterparts. However, triploidization can cause reduced resistance to heat stress. The project will use genomic solutions to optimize the production of robust triploid strains of mussels that perform well in PEI’s estuaries. Increased efficiency will allow PEI and AAF, the largest mussel grower/processor in North America with over 4,500 acres of water leases, to expand production without increasing their water lease footprint. It will also increase provincial revenues without creating conflicts over use of the marine space. Establishing genomic-driven biotechnology approaches will further Canadian leadership in aquaculture innovation and create high-skilled jobs in Atlantic Canada. Expanding shellfish production to replace other protein sources will help Canada meets its net-zero target by 2050 and help ensure food security.



Photo credit: Photo supplied by Dr. Filgueira.
Dr. Rámon Filgueira, Associate Professor, Marine Affairs Program, Dalhousie University, and the academic project leader for the Triploid mussel genomics program.
Photo credit: Photo supplied by Truefaux Films.
Dr. Tiago Hori, Director of Innovation and principal co-investigator, Atlantic Aqua Farm.